Sophomore Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) pumped in a career- and game-high 24 points and narrowly missed out on a double-double to lead the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team to a 78-73 come-from-behind victory against Le Moyne College on Tuesday night at Ted Grant Court.
Andrews was an efficient 10 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and 2 of 4 from the stripe, while filling out the stat sheet with nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) posted 21 points (7-13 FG, 3-6 3-FG, 4-6 FT) and five rebounds, with junior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) netting 10 points (4-8 FG, 2-3 3-FG) and collecting a pair of rebounds.
Redshirt-junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) scored the 1,000th point of his career in the game with seven points (1-8 FG, 5-7 FT), 10 boards, two assists, two steals and a block.
C.J. Asuncion-Byrd paced the Dolphins with 15 points, while Stan Buczek and Tanner Hyland added 14 and 13, respectively.
Le Moyne opened the second half with a Buczek layup that gave it the largest lead of the night at 46-31 just 13 seconds in. A Gilligan 3-pointer sparked an 11-5 run that cut into the Dolphins' lead and made it 51-42 with 15:23 remaining. Buczek contributed four of the five Le Moyne points during the run, while Floras led the way for the Penmen with five.
Four straight points from Daniel Kaigler nudged the hosts' lead back to 13, but a 7-0 run – highlighted by a 3-pointer from sophomore Charlie Russo (Syracuse, N.Y.) – trimmed the Southern New Hampshire deficit to 55-49 with 12:11 to play.
With the gap at eight over two minutes later, another Russo triple triggered a 10-0 rush that was capped by a dunk from Andrews, who chipped in four points during the stretch, to give the Penmen a 64-62 lead with 7:31 on the clock. It was the first lead for the visitors since the 5:43 mark of the first half.
Following a pair of Russell Sangster free throws that tied the game, five straight points from Andrews put the Penmen out in front, 69-64, with 4:53 left. Four straight Sangster free throws pulled Le Moyne within one under a minute later, but it was Andrews that answered the bell again for Southern New Hampshire, dropping in a layup at the 3:48 mark to give his team a 71-68 advantage.
SNHU then went 3-for-4 from the line to open up a 74-68 lead with just under two minutes to go. A Tyree Chambers 3-pointer with 1:38 to play made things interesting before a Gilligan layup brought it back to a two-possession game for the Penmen with 1:07 left. A Buczek layup cut it to 76-73 11 seconds later and Le Moyne had a chance to tie it following a SNHU turnover, but a Hyland miss, Walters rebound and pair of free throws from senior Adrian Oliveira (Pawtucket, R.I.) with nine seconds on the clock sealed it.
Russo finished with six points (2-2 FG, 2-2 3-FG) and three rebounds, while Oliveira also chipped in six points (2-4 FG, 2-2 FT) and handed out four assists.
Andrews scored the first five points of the game before a Gilligan layup made it 7-0 just under five minutes in. After an Asuncion-Byrd 3-pointer put Le Moyne on the board, a Gilligan triple and Walters layup opened Southern New Hampshire's largest lead of the contest at 12-3 with 13:53 remaining in the opening half.
The margin was seven over four minutes later when five points from Hyland powered a 7-2 spurt that cut Le Moyne's deficit to 21-19 with 9:01 to go. After an Andrews trey made it a five-point game two-and-a-half minutes later, an Asuncion-Byrd 3-pointer set of a half-ending 23-5 blitz that sent Le Moyne to the locker room with a 44-31 advantage. Buczek and Chambers each scored six points during the run, while Asuncion-Byrd added five and Kaigler chipped in four.
-Walters becomes Southern New Hampshire's 49th member of the 1,000-point club.
-SNHU has now won 3 of 4 and 6 of 8.
-The Penmen continue to hold a game-and-a-half lead over Merrimack College in the Northeast Division standings, as well as a two-and-a-half-game lead on Franklin Pierce University.
-Southern New Hampshire outshot Le Moyne, 51.9 percent (27-52) to 45.5 percent (25-55), including 50 percent (10-20) to 47.8 percent (11-23) from downtown and 60.7 percent (17-28) to 36 percent (9-25) in the second half.
-SNHU was plus-2 from the line, but was outshot, 80 percent (12-15) to 66.7 percent (14-21).
-The Penmen won the glass (32-28) and paint (30-28), while both teams turned in the same assist-to-turnover ratio (11/10).
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Jan. 28 (3:30 p.m.) when they take on Pace University. The next home game for SNHU is Wednesday, Feb. 1 (7:30 p.m.) when it plays host to Assumption College at the SNHU Fieldhouse in game that will air live on NESNplus and NESN National. It is Penmen Pride Night and all fans in attendance are encouraged to wear gold.
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